Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 22: The work is Progressing

This week was quite successful. We ended up not having the baptism this week but will happen next week, February 4th, along with another investigator Francisco.

 This week we learned that at Stake Conference on February 11th our stake will be splitting and that our ward will be split as well very soon. So there is a chance we will be covering 2 wards soon.

We met with Nonhlahla again this week. She is so powerful! She knows this gospel is true and has truly been prepared. When we went to her home we discovered that her and her family live in a squatter camp. Their shack is one of the nicer ones but she is so humble. We plan on putting her and her two daughters on date for March 18th this week. 

Elder Blow and I have truly seen the work in the Kwa-Thema area progress immensely. As well as our relationship with the ward. The area hasn't had the best of missionaries over the past year or two and we have been trying really hard to regain that trust and relationship. In ward council this week, which we attended, our bishop expressed his appreciation for us and how the ward needs to utilize us while we are here.

This week we had 14 investigators at sacrament meeting.  Five of our strong investigators that are usually at church weren't there. We are hoping they will all continue to see the importance of church and the sacrament. As they come to church they prepare themselves to make sacred covenants with Heavenly Father.

 We are plan on having 16 people on date for baptism by the end of this week. It is amazing to see their progress and the light that comes into their life due to this gospel.

Also you may have seen that I played a little one on one basketball with President Leavitt. When he came to interview one of our investigators for baptism he challenged me to a game. President has a pretty nice jump shot. He is such a loving man and has been called by God to lead the work in the Johannesburg mission. I'm grateful I am able to be part of this amazing work. "This is the work of Angels" -Elder Holland

Love, Elder Rash

One-on-one with Pres. Leavitt

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 21: The Power of Prayer

This week has gone by fast.

This week we had an appointment with one of our most progressing investigators who will be baptized soon. Usually when we set an appointment with her she is always there and has kept the commitments we've given her and taken notes. When we got there we found the house all locked up and no one there. So we decided to go to a members house who lived down the street to see if they knew where she was. When we got there they didn't know but they had a family friend over so we sat down to talk with her. Her name is Nonhlahla. As we began talking we discovered that Sis. Thomo had been inviting her to church for a while now and that she hadn't really been interested but felt like it was time. She expressed how she knew that God had sent us to her and that this was the answer to her prayers. We taught about the gospel of  Jesus Christ and how these are the things Christ has taught us that we need to do to return to live with God and to also have peace in this life. The spirit was so strong and she committed to coming to church, which she did. At the end of the lesson we invited her to pray. The first half of her prayer was in zulu but the spirit was so strong. She then switched to English and you could hear the sincerity of her prayer. She knew this was true. The spirit brought tears to not only her eyes but all of ours. After the lesson Bro. Thomo told us that Thuli had sent us a message earlier that morning telling us that she wouldn't be home for our scheduled appointment. We never received a message. Elder Blow and I both know that Heavenly Father made sure we didn't receive that message so we would meet Nonhlahla.

Also this week we met with a man named Kgomotso. At the end of the lesson we invited him to pray. He began reciting the Lord's prayer as many do. After he finished we explained to him what prayer is and how we should pray. I proceeded to pray to give him an example. After, we invited him to pray again. His prayer was so simple but the spirit was so strong. It was amazing to see someone truly pray and have a conversation with God for the first time in their life.

I have a testimony of the power of prayer. God truly is there and hears and answers our prayers. If you ever feel lonely or afraid or guilty, pray. Heavenly Father is there and loves you. I know this gospel is true.

Talk to you all next week. 

Love, Elder Rash
He loves his district.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 20: Death is not the end

This week has been good but interesting. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation has grown tremendously this week.

Death in Africa is very common. Whether it is from sickness, murder, car accidents, etc. It is very sad. This week we attended 3 funerals. This week we heard of about 6 or 7 people passing away. Whether it was members, family members of members, or family members of investigators. With this happening we were able to go and teach many people of the plan of salvation and bring them much comfort. Each time we were also able to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how these are the things we need to do here on earth so we can one day live with God again. By doing this many became interested in how they could do this and learn more about the message we shared. One of which was the daughter of a member who recently passed away. Her and her family live on an island called Mauritius just off of the coast of Madagascar. We had one lesson with her and she knew that she needed to be on the same path her father was on. When we shared with her that the church and missionaries are on that island she was sooo happy. There is no doubt in my mind she will follow that example of not only her father but her elder brother, Jesus Christ. We have already sent her information to the missionaries that side.

This gospel is for everyone. It doesn't matter where we live or the area that we serve in as missionaries. We must bring everyone to the knowledge of this gospel. No matter where we are in the world, the message is still the same. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and the comfort it brings. I know that as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ and endure to the end, we will one day inherit the kingdom of God and know complete joy.

I love you all!

Love, Elder Rash
Make a left turn and you'll find DEVON

I love that he found his name sign

He loves the kids

Transfer day

Elder Rash with ?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 19: Fruits of our Labors

This week has been absolutely wonderful!

So earlier this week we went to a place called Grill King with the family that had us over for new years. We went there so Elder Jolley, who can eat like crazy, could take on the burger challenge they have. He had to eat a 1.5 kg burger, chips, and 8 hot wings in 25 minutes to complete the challenge and get a shirt. He came so close! He finished in about 30 minutes but we were all so impressed. No one thought he would even be able to finish all of the food.

So you may see that I now have a nice gash just above my eye. Let's just say a taxi driver wasn't very happy with me... Just kidding. I wish I had a cooler story than I did. But all that happened was Elder Blackburn hung on the soccer goal and I turned around right as it came down and it wacked me in the eye. No biggy though. All is well, no stitches needed.

Transfers were this week and Elder Blow and I will be staying together. The only change in our district is, Elder Spencer will be leaving. He will be staying in the zone so we will still be seeing a lot of him.

So as you may know from my last letter we had some pretty crazy goals for this week. One of which being our goal of 15 new investigators. This goal was a little daunting. Our goals for this week were 5 on date for baptism, 8 investigators at sacrament meeting, and 15 new investigators. Elder Blow and I truly saw the fruits of our labors this week. This has easily been my most successful week on mission so far. This week we were able to find many who were interested in learning more about the restored gospel. 15 to be exact! It took a lot of prayer and work for us to achieve this goal. It even took tracting the last few hours of our Sunday evening to achieve this goal. This week we contacted a lot of our referrals as well as tracted for a total of 5 hours. We definitely would not have been able to achieve this goal without the hand of the Lord.

On Sunday, as sacrament meeting began we only had 4 investigators there and there were a lot of empty seats in the chapel. I started to get bummed and discouraged. However I should have known better and remembered how Africans work. By the end of sacrament meeting we had 13 investigators at church and many members! There wasn't a single seat in the chapel left.

Fast and testimony meeting in Africa has become my all time favorite. There is never enough time in the meeting for all those who want to bear their humble and simple testimonies. The spirit is so strong although half of the people are speaking in their native language and I can't understand them.

Our investigators class was packed! We had about 25-30 people in the class. On top of the 13 investigators we had at church there were also 7 non-members who we will be meeting with this week. Also 5 other investigators that said they would be at church were not there. There is so much work to be done here in Kwa-Thema and it is beginning to progress very quick.

I have a testimony of this gospel. Prayer has played a huge role in my life and especially this week. I know that as we exercise our faith that our Heavenly F ather will help us achieve our desires as long as these desires are righteous. I am grateful for this gospel and the privilege I have to shared it for the next 2 years. I love you all. 


Elder Rash
Elder Rash's war wound!  That looks like it hurt!!!

That is leaving a scar!

Elder Jolly taking on a CRAZY challenge!

Finished!  Now he's sick I'm sure! hahahaha

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Well this week has been great! Full of a lot of fun and a lot of work.

With the transfer coming to an end we began evaluating our goals for the transfer. We had a goal of 30 new investigators for the transfer and we were far from that. We were at about 9 with 2 weeks remaining. So this last week we really focused on contacting all of our referrals and "teach when you find" as taught in Preach My Gospel. After studying and discussing what we were going to do to achieve this goal we came to the conclusion that we were going to go do a lot of tracting and setting up appointments for this coming week. Usually when the thought of tracting comes up you do whatever you can to find something else to do. You're usually not to excited. However, after discussing our plans I felt a great desire and excitement to go and tract. Elder Blow and I have really been praying for the gift of Charity. At times its hard to see a drunk man, who smells really bad and is talking nonsense, as a child of God. Or someone who rejects you and doesn't want to hear anything you want to share with them. But since praying earnestly for this gift of charity I have been developing a greater love for those we are teaching as well as everyone we speak to. I contribute this to my great desire and excitement to go out and tract. I want every child of God to know of this restored gospel and how the atonement can help them in their life and bring so much peace in their life. Elder Blow and I truly saw the fruits of our faith and labors this week. We had set a goal for 6 new investigators, whereas we had only had maybe 1 or 2 a week the past 4 weeks. When the week came to an end we realized we had 7 new investigators for the week. As we did our weekly planning we saw we still needed 15 new investigators this coming week to achieve our goal for the transfer. So we set our weekly goal for this coming week for 15 new investigators. It is going to require a lot of work, prayer, faith, and persistence to achieve this goal but we are excited for this week. Today we set aside for tracting the entire day.

So Sunday was New Year's Eve and a family in one of the wards in our district invited our whole district over for a Braai. It was tons of fun and there was tons of food! We had ribs, steak, pork, bor wors, and much more. After dinner our district sang our mission song for them and then on the spot sang Hallelujah, accompanied by Elder Reynolds on the guitar. It was a lot of fun and the families were so much fun. After that Brother Westfall brought out the fireworks. He also brought out Chinese lanterns. It reminded me exactly like our experience with those at Lake Powell. A failure lol. Out of the 11 we had only 2 took flight. One of which lasted very short and landed on top of the house. Luckily no fires became of this.

New Year's Day we went as a district and did some shopping and had lunch. We were unable to email due to the internet cafe being closed.

Well I love you all. I know this gospel is true. Don't be afraid to talk to your friends, family, or neighbors about this gospel. We are all children of God and need to know of this restored gospel. If you are having trouble doing so, earnestly pray for the gift of charity so you may see them all with that same love Christ would.

I love you all and hope you have a happy new year!

Love Elder Rash
Moving mattresses for their District Sleepover!